This weekend I watched "Below," which was made by David Twohy, the guy behind "Pitch Black." It was stylish and beautifully filmed but not as good as "Pitch Black," mostly because the characters were more one-size-fits-all. "Pitch Black" was full of surprises; "Below" is just standard B-movie fare. Good, really quite good, but it's a submarine flick for crying out loud. That's an uphill climb genre-wise. ("Genre" is my favorite word ever, by the way. I just like saying it. Genre genre genre. Genre Wilder. Genre Hackman.)
And I watched "Shanghai Knights" on someone's recommendation, someone I love very dearly, who will therefore be spared the guillotine. The cliches were done badly, the jokes fell like anvils, the plot was crap, the anachronisms were lazy and unfunny, Aidan Gillen wasn't up to snuff, and the whole thing was a forced fun-fest hanging by a single thread: the gay braid of Owen & Jackie charisma. They are pretty adorable guys, and they were clearly having fun. The problem was, I wasn't. Also, I kind of hate saying this, but the stylized choreography of Jackie Chan's fights bored me to tears.
Then I watched "Coupling," episodes 1-6, out on DVD. You can tell they're still finding their legs here--the eps have a certain kind of new-series awkwardness and staginess. If these people hadn't been British, if they'd just been American "Friends" knock-offs, I don't think I'd have kept watching. A British accent goes a long way toward charming. But it grew on me, and I felt the value in having watched the first three episodes and gotten to know the characters, when I saw episode number four, "Inferno," which nearly killed me. That entire dinner party--and when that crazy bitch Jane baaaas like a sheep, oh my god. That was greatness, and so was the clever stuff in the following episode where Jeff meets the Irsaeli girl and they do the bilingual replay--but I was also weeping laughter during his babble about collecting women's ears in a bucket.
Jack Davenport doesn't feel like personal pin-up boy material, but I liked watching his performance.
The last ep of the tape was the most annoying; I really loathed the accepted premise that it was okay for whats-his-face to have a huge cupboard of videos he'd taken of women, and that everyone would sit around and watch one. The ep seemed ambiguous on the point of how fully and consistently the videotaping was disclosed to the women involved, and I fall on the un-PC side of the line for many things, but I'd rather not be distracted by the sheer, shared sleaziness of characters I'm trying to get to like.
In other news, I napped for hours, I spent $35 on brunch, I'm going to kill my neighbors if they slam their doors one more time, and I'm resisting the desperate, cheesy
Also, fandom is dumb.